The question asked in the title of this post is one I have as well, so I’ve decided to ask it in this post.
It was posed by e-Patient Dave in a comment on this post illustrating the challenge of test result sharing with patients today.
He’s referring to California Health and Safety Code Section 123148 , which makes it illegal to share certain kinds of test results with patients online. It also says:
In the event that a health care professional arranges for the provision of test results by Internet posting or other electronic manner, the results shall be delivered to a patient in a reasonable time period, but only after the results have been reviewed by the health care professional.
Knowing what we know about health care, reasonable time period and “only after the results have been reviewed” may be in conflict.
I understand this law was passed in 2002, so in 2009, I’d like to ask patients and those who care for them what they know of the rationale here? If you do not live in California, is there any such legislation in your state? If this law no longer existed, can people envision what the harms (and benefits) would be?